When we first caught the travel bug and starting following other bloggers and travelers we wondered how people were traveling so much! I mean, it seemed like 24/7 they were headed to a new location or trying out a new experiences. We knew we didn’t want to be full-time travelers. We have a lot of dreams and goals for ourselves and leaving those behind just didn’t feel right to us. However, on the other hand we felt the need to invest in traveling rather than the latest car or the nicest home. So we decided to shoot for the middle and believe that it has been the right decision for us! We think we have the best of both worlds. We get to help and support each other through school and jobs in order to reach our career goals and yet we enjoy time with each other exploring new places rather than enjoying purchases or material items. Think this is the path that you would like to pursue as well? Well then we’ve got some tips for you!
First off, I think social media does not showcase 90% of our lives. I work full-time and Steve goes to school full-time. Most days are “normal”. We wake up, we drive up to the school together, I work, Steve studies.. and then we throw the gym, dinner, and our current Netflix show into the mix at night. However, our weekends, vacation days, and even sometimes school nights (sorry mom) are spent adventuring!
Last year alone we were able to visit over 15 states, 7 countries, and have had countless memories together. We were able to experience the coasts of Italy in Cinque Terre, watch break dancers in front of Big Ben, meet the bartender from The Proposal (based off a real person) in Alaska, and body surf HUGE waves in Cancun.
There is a lot that goes into all our traveling but I want to show you how we are able to do it!
Cheap flights. I love researching flight deals. Like seriously. Sometimes I’ll just think of a destination where I want to go and figure out the cheapest way to get there (yes, I’m a nerd). My top sites are google flights and Skyscanner. I use Skyscanner as my inspiration! I can just plug in my home airport and then click a month to travel and it comes up with a ton of possibilities. Google flights is also very nice to use because if you’re flexible with your days it shows you a full month view of the cheapest days to travel. Book through google flights! (Unless an airline is having a promotion where you have to type in a code in their website). We just booked tickets to Chicago using delta and I did a quick price comparison using google flight prices and delta prices and on the Delta website, they were going to charge us over $100 more! Moral of the story- shop around before you buy.
Airbnb– I LOVE airbnb. Our first experience was while staying in London. The hostess was extremely accommodating and even prepared us breakfast in the morning! There were other guests from around the world in the house and we had a great breakfast meeting other couples from the U.S. and Canada. TRY IT! If you need a little incentive you can use this link to get $40 off of your next trip!
We make sacrifices while we are back home. We share my little scion and use the train system where we live (usually it is Steve taking the train, thanks dear!). We could have used the money that we spent on trips to buy a second car but honestly, the rewards of traveling together have been much greater than any material item could have given us. We only spend $700 a month on our apartment. Some may think that it’s expensive, but for our area, it’s a steal of a deal! We cook our meals and don’t eat out very often. We don’t spend a lot of money on new clothes, toys, electronics, etc. . Steve is in grad school and devotes all his time to it and we live off my income (which is not a lot for those who are wondering ;)). We are very frugal when it comes to the day to day.
Reward credit card and sky miles. We DO NOT recommend that you get a credit card just so you can get a free trip. However, if you are looking to get a credit card anyways get the Chase sapphire preferred card! We got this card while Steve was working with Cerner which required us to travel each week and it helped get us some miles! Also, by signing up they give you over $700 to use towards flights. We actually did not pay a single cent when we took our crazy Europe trip because we had all these free miles! If you are interested in this card check out my link.
We value travel over material items so that motivates a lot of our decisions. This lifestyle is totally not for everyone and I’m not trying to tell you that it’s better in any way but it works for Steve and I and makes us happy.
There are so many other things that go into our ability to travel but those are the top four! I hope those help you to be able to pursue your traveling goals!